UPDATED: 2023 Presidential Election: Yoruba Elders’ Union (YEU) declares support for Atiku!
A socio-cultural group of Yoruba leaders under the aegis of the Yoruba Elders’ Union (YEU) has declares support for the former two terms Vice President of the federal Republic of Nigeria during the General Olusegun Obasanjo administration from 1999 to 2007 – His Excellency Abubaka Atiku of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – during the forthcoming 2023 general election. This decision was taken at their meeting in Lagos on Tuesday, 7th of February, 2023.
Prof. Muhammad Omolaja, the President of the Union, said that YEU considered all the presidential candidates from various political parties using, inter alia, criteria such as competence, experience, health, and general acceptability of the candidates. Alhaji (Prince) Muhammad Omolaja said that H. E. Abubakar Atiku stands clear among his presidential candidate colleagues as regards competence and health.
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In terms of the experience at the presidency level, the Yoruba leaders found that only Alhaji Abubakar Atiku has it among the candidates having served as the Vice President for eight years, and therefore, it will be easier for him to take off upon his election as the President than for a new person who will have to spend about 6 months or more to study the situation in the office before taking off properly and effectively! The challenges in the Nigeria of today would not allow this delay to ameliorate the prevailing sufferings of the Nigerian masses. As regards acceptability, the Yoruba leaders also agreed that H. E. Abubakar Atiku is the most widely accepted presidential candidate across the six geopolitical zones of the country. Abubakar Atiku has been building his network of politics and business for over 40 years! Hence, he is well known in the north, south, west and east of the country.
At the human relations level, Prof. Omolaja said that H. E. Abubakar Atiku is the most detribalized among all the candidates. He relates very well with people from different parts of the country. He married from the southwest (Yoruba), Southeast (Igbo) and from the north (Hausa/Fulani), and he doesn’t discriminate on religious affairs. His choice of a Muslim/Christian ticket also makes him superb in this respect!
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Prof. Omolaja, after the meeting while addressing the journalist, said that already the facts on ground favour Alhaji Abubakar Atiku over and above other presidential candidates. For instance, about three weeks to the election, Abubaka Atiku is clearly leading in the northeast, northwest, north central and south-south geopolitical zones; that is, Atiku and PDP are already leading in four out of the six geopolitical zones of the country. The southeast will probably be dominated by Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) who is from Anambra State with Atiku coming second. However, in the southwest, it is either Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progress Congress (APC) from Lagos State comes first with H. E. Abubakar Atiku coming second; and vice versa. It is apparently clear that the situation in the northeast from where the All Progressives Congress (APC) picked their presidential running mate, Alhaji Shetima from Borno State, cannot make a significant difference as the northeasterners will definitely not drop being the region producing the President for a Vice President!
Apart from this, the northern belt of Nigeria is more than the southern belt in terms of the population, political consciousness and number of States; that is, 17 States in the south and 19 States plus the federal Capital Territory of Abuja in the north. In any case, anytime there are two or more serious presidential candidates in the southern Nigeria, the northern candidate always carry the day! For example, in the 1979 presidential election when Obafemi Awolowo was in the race from the southwest and Nnamdi Azikiwe was in the race from the southeast, Alhaji Shehu Shagari from the north won the election. Again, it was the same in 1983 when Alhaji Shehu Shagari won for his second term in office as the Executive President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the federal Republic of Nigeria. It is crystal clear from all indications that history is about to repeat itself in favour of H. E. Alhaji Abubakar Atiku in the forthcoming February 25, 2023 presidential election.
Because of the fact that at this time around, the atmosphere is not clear for the country to produce a President of the southern belt origin, the Yoruba Leaders therefore urge all well meaning Nigerians especially Yoruba sons and daughters and the Southerners in general to forget about all sentiments and come out en masse to cast their votes for H. E. Abubakar Atiku of the PDP during the February 25, 2023 presidential election. This will allow the incoming President Atiku to support the zoning of the presidential candidature to the south after the tenure of his administration.
Report of Tinubu meeting CJN in London fabricated – APC PCC
The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council has reacted to a report of a meeting between Bola Tinubu, president-elect, and Olukayode Ariwoola, chief justice of Nigeria (CJN).
The campaign council said there was no meeting between Tinubu and the CJN in the UK.
A statement by Bayo Onanuga, media director of the campaign council, said it was an attempt to create doubt about the legitimacy of the election that produced Tinubu as president-elect.
Onanuga said the president-elect is currently in Paris, France, and not in the UK.
He said, “The story was a pure concoction from the hallucinating minds of hatchet men bent on creating doubts and public distrust about the legitimacy of our recent election, which was won by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” the media director said.
“We refute emphatically that there has been no clandestine meeting between the president-elect and the respected chief justice of our country, anywhere. It’s pure fabricated news, groundless in fact and authenticity.
“To show that the story was a mere salacious fiction, meant to draw traffic to the discredited purveyor, it claimed the Chief Justice left Nigeria for London on 11 March, on a wheelchair to board a plane.
“The president-elect left Nigeria on 21 March, 10 clear days thereafter. What kind of appointment or secret meeting will the two men have arranged in London, with such widely disparate arrival dates, except in the imagination of the false news merchants?
“We can confirm that the president-elect, who left Nigeria Tuesday, has not been in London. He is right now in France to have a deserved rest, after a hectic campaign that began in January 2022.
“He will go to London thereafter before proceeding to Mecca for the lesser Hajj.”
Festus Akande, spokesperson of the supreme court, is yet to respond to an enquiry sent to him by TheCable on the matter.
Anti-Tinubu groups protest in Abuja, demand interim govt
Protesters opposed to the declaration of Bola Tinubu as Nigeria’s president-elect on Thursday took to the streets of Abuja demanding the invocation of an Interim National Government.
They urged Presidential Muhammadu Buhari to put the ING in place before leaving office on May 29.
They protested under the aegis of the National Youth League for the Defence of Democracy and demanded the immediate arrest of the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, by the State Security Services SSS.
They carried various placards with different inscriptions.
They asked foreign embassies in Nigeria to immediately revoke the visas of 15 INEC Resident Electoral Commissioners.
Those they want sanctioned RECs of Lagos, Rivers, Borno, Zamfara, Niger, Jigawa, Kano and Imo states.
Others are Ebonyi, Ekiti, Ogun, Oyo, Cross River, Katsina and Edo states.
Addressing journalists at the Unity Fountain where the protest started, one of the leaders of the group, Dr Moses Paul, said the interim government is expected to appoint a new INEC chairman and conduct a fresh election that would produce a befitting President for Nigeria.
He said, “We are citizens of Nigeria, lovers of Nigeria, standing on the path of our constitution and citizens’ rights. We are here particularly to address the greatest crime that has happened in the history of the world and in Nigeria. People were burnt in Kano; people were shot in Rivers, and we have seen the greatest inhumanity happen in Lagos State in the course of this election.
“Two demands we are making; we are asking the President of this country to immediately arrest and prosecute the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who has committed the greatest fraud in the history of humanity. We need him arrested and prosecuted.
“Our number two demand is that we are asking that an interim government be put in place. We are saying that, because we do not want President Muhammadu Buhari to continue, his tenure is ending, so as a father he should put in place an interim government so that the interim government will now appoint another INEC chairman who will conduct a free and credible election and produce a befitting President for our country.”
When asked to provide other options if the two demands were not met, one of the co-conveners, Anngu Orngu, said they are harmless Nigerians “but we will use every other civil and lawful means to make sure that our demands are met”.
“We are here as frustrated Nigerians and the fundamental rights of Nigerians have been trampled upon by Mahmood Yakubu-led INEC and we are here calling for his immediate resignation. We have also requested that the DSS should arrest him, and he should be prosecuted by the EFCC.
“We are calling on the DSS to arrest Mahmood immediately, the EFCC should investigate him and we are also calling on the Nigerian Judiciary because those concerned are already in court, particularly the presidential election of February 25, we are calling on the judges in Nigeria that we want justice to prevail.
“We have been to the US Embassy, we have been to the British Council in Nigeria, and we have also submitted a letter to the French Embassy, calling on them to advise the Nigerian government that the Nigerian people are not happy. We the young people of this country are not happy over what is happening in our country. We may be peaceful now but when you push even a goat to the wall, the goat may bite,” he added.
In one of the letters made available to journalists and addressed to the United States Embassy, the protesters called for sanctions against the INEC chairman.
The letter read in part; “The conduct of the elections is in substantial none compliance with the extant legal framework.
“These criminal actions of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu have led to the dampening of the revived spirit of youths who in anticipation of a country that works for all, turned out in their large numbers to vote, some for the first time in their lives, for their preferred candidates only to be greeted with violence and subversion of their collective will.”
Labour Party dismisses Keyamo petition, says accusations baseless
Presidential Campaign Council of the Labour Party has dismissed the petition filed by Festus Keyamo, a spokesman for the President-elect, Ahmed Tinubu, calling for the arrest of the LP presidential candidate, Peter Obi and his running mate, Dr Datti Baba-Ahmed, over alleged treasonable felony as a desperate attempt to gain political relevance.
The spokesperson for the LP PCC, Dr Yunusa Tanko, said this in a statement in Abuja, on Thursday.
The group was responding to Keyamo’s petition to security agencies to arrest the LP candidates for allegedly preparing grounds for insurrection against the Nigerian state over the declaration of Tinubu as president-elect.
Tanko said, “Datti is a free citizen of this country and entitled to his fundamental right of freedom of expression.
“Datti never called for insurrection or any act envisaging treason.
“Keyamo talked about healing, which means Nigeria is sick; that means he recognised that the February 25th which announced his principal as the president-elect and the March 18 state elections were marred with blatant rigging, high-level violence, voters suppression and intimidation orchestrated by his party.
“Surprisingly Keyamo who claims to be a ‘patriotic citizen’ closed his eyes to the ethnic and tribal vitriolic by his party and their supporters against Non-Yoruba in Lagos.
“The so-called “patriotic citizen” didn’t report MC Oluomo who told Igbos not to vote in Lagos.
“After the shameful Chatam House appearance of Keyamo’s principal, his principal was recorded telling key supporters to fight, snatch, grab and run with ballot boxes which were exactly what happened in the elections. Why didn’t Keyamo the “Patriotic citizen” report to the DSS?
“Keyamo is just making baseless accusations, he’s a known rabble rouser and chatterbox who doesn’t want to lose political relevance before his paymaster who has now seen him for what he is which is a political paperweight who has achieved nothing as a minister except posting fake news to rile up the polity on social media.”
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